Cover Crops: Kropuch Kasekor


Accessibility and affordability to production means, such agricultural machineries (no-till seeder, roller crimper) and services that are specific to Conservation Agriculture and seeds of cover crops are emphasized as one of the main bottlenecks to foster the dissemination of such agroecological systems.

To address the accessibility, affordability of viable cover crop seeds, KropuchKasekor (Seeds to farmers) would need to be established and led by Department of Crop Seeds (DCS) to support the local production and supply system for cover crop. The ISA project team is currently working with the Department of Crop Seed to discuss on KropuchKasekor. There is only on national producer Smart Agro established, however the cover crop seeds prove to be expensive for small holder farmers. There is a need to produce seeds locally so that the costs can be kept low.

Aims and Objectives

KropuchKasekor aims to support Agricultural Cooperatives, private local service providers, and farmers/service providers to foster the uptake of cover crops in Cambodia. KropuchKasekor expects, to improve the transition of regenerative agriculture and importantly improve their farming systems and generate more income through the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices.

Institutionalization Vision

KropuchKasekor aims to be institutionalized within the government system, specifically within the Department of Crop Seed.

KropuchKasekor in the Making

Raising awareness on cover crop use
In 2018, cover crop was yet to be commercially available to the Cambodian farmers. MIGIP partnered with Natural Farm Kirirom (NFK), now known as SmartAgro, to encourage farmers to use and produce cover crop seeds.
Decision to promote cover crops as a part of CA practices through MetKasekor Model
ISA project signed a partnership agreement with Smart Agro to promote cover crops as a part of CA practices through the Metkasekor Model and supported in the identification of the right mixes of cover crops with sales of 5.4 tons of cover crops. A bottleneck with regards to cover crop seeds registration was also identified, which meant that new farmers beyond projects are still limited on credibility of the products.
Towards institutionalization with a steering mechanism
To promote Cover Crops in Cambodia effectively and efficiently, a need for the development of a proper strategy was identified. Therefore, there is an ongoing discussion on the establishment of a steering mechanism that focuses on introducing and promoting cover crops to smallholder farmers. Furthermore, discussion among partners and government departments also commenced on cover crops registration through the ASSET project. In 2022, 1,554kg of cover crops were subsidized to smallholder farmers as well.
Commencement of activities of KropouchKasekor
In 2023, the Department of Crop Seeds aims to establish a Steering and Technical Working Group for KropouchKasekor, with the Department of Agriculture and Land Resource Management, the Department of Crop Seed, the Provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, CIRAD, and Swisscontact as members. DCS, under the KropouchKasekor model, also aims to organize training of trainers on seed production and post-harvesting along with conducting a market estimation on cover crop demand. 10 species of cover crops will also be registered through the Department of Crop Seed, and the promotion of cover crop seeds through participation in MetKasekor events. The Department of Crop Seeds also aims to establish this working model of Kropouch Kasekor facility to provide the necessary cover crops through the agriculture cooperatives, local producers the farmers.

Events & Articles

Sustainable agriculture
Transforming Agriculture in Tboung Khmum with Cover Crop Implementation
The Deputy Director of the Provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in Tboung Khmum has been leading the way in introducing cover crops to local farmers, a technique that improves soil quality and crop yield.
Sustainable agriculture
From a farmer a cover crop seed producer
HENG Sak, a 66-year-old resident of Battambang is a farmer who turned into a cover crop producer.
Sustainable agriculture
Partnership to Promote Cover Crops in Cambodia
There is a need for the Cambodian agriculture sector to reinvent itself by shifting from increased production through land expansion towards sustainable intensification. As Cambodia “finds new pathways to drive future growth,” technology will play a critical role in transforming the sector. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC)’s vision to modernise the country’s agriculture recognizes that sustainable intensification “primarily depends on the application of techniques, new technologies, research and development, mechanisationzation, and increased capacity of irrigation to improve productivity.” This is reflected in several key documents that have been developed by the RGC.
Sustainable agriculture
Encouraging soil conservation through Conservation Agriculture (CA) Production Systems (CAPS): CA initiative in Cambodia
Cambodia’s agriculture sector is one of the key engines for economic growth and poverty reduction in the country. According to World Bank database (2020), 31% of the total population is working in agriculture. The major crops in Cambodia are rice, maize, cassava, and sugarcane. As the world relies on countries like Cambodia in Southeast Asia to feed a growing population, the impetus is on doing so in a sustainable manner. Conservation Agriculture (CA) characterized by three linked principles: Minimal soil disturbance, Cover crops and Crops diversification, is a key to sustainable crop production intensification in feeding a growing world population while conserving ecological and natural resources. Cambodia had embarked upon CA initiatives with a primary focus on cropping system design, soil fertility assessment, agricultural engineering, rather than commercial practices. However, in recent years, commercial practices have also been promoted in this area.